What Kind of Innovator Are You?

A designer creates on a laptop.

In today’s highly competitive market with discerning customers, fostering a culture of innovation is crucial for businesses to remain relevant. Often, companies engage in one of two types of innovation, sometimes even unconsciously.

Incremental Innovation Commonly, companies innovate incrementally, a process many are not consciously aware of. This conservative approach involves making small, gradual improvements to products or services. These enhancements might not be immediately recognized as innovation, but over time, the cumulative upgrades significantly benefit users by addressing their evolving needs. Incremental innovation, by responding to user requirements, enhances the utility of products and services, thereby gaining market trust. Although it might lack the immediate impact of more radical innovations, its responsive and continuous nature can be immensely beneficial for brand loyalty and perception.

Breakthrough Innovation On the other end of the spectrum are breakthrough innovations, the kind that grab headlines and captivate imaginations. These are the ambitious, game-changing developments that CEOs and startups dream of – the kind that can propel an organization into widespread recognition and establish a long-lasting presence. Breakthrough innovations often result from extensive research and development, requiring significant investment. While they may appear as sudden leaps forward, they are usually the culmination of years of effort and substantial capital.

Regardless of the innovation approach, the driving force is the people steering these processes. In an era of rapid technological advancement, where there’s an overwhelming array of innovative products, the act of innovating remains deeply human. It involves the unique ability to process vast amounts of information and ideas, transforming them into groundbreaking and creative solutions.

Innovation can optimize every facet of a business, from customer relationships and processes to human resources, aiming for transformative experiences. Moreover, this mindset opens up the culture of innovation to everyone, extending beyond traditionally ‘creative’ roles.